I Remember

Album: My Tennessee Mountain Home (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • Dolly Parton has many fond memories of growing up in her "Tennessee Mountain Home," but she remembers Mama and Daddy most of all. Avie Owens and Robert Lee Parton married when they were teens and, by the time they were in their mid-30s, completed their family of 12 children, including Dolly. Times were tough raising so many kids in rural East Tennessee, but the singer appreciated the love her parents provided.

    "'I Remember' pretty much tells its own story. It's just about the love that our parents had," she wrote in her 2020 book, Songteller. "It's never easy, no matter where you grow up. But to really maneuver that brood of kids, in that part of the world, with no real money coming in, just trying to survive without dying in the winter of pneumonia or worse, it's a lot to think about, a lot to write about, a lot to be grateful for. I think about my mom and dad all the time."
  • Dolly sings of the "homemade toys that Daddy used to make." But her mom also tried her hand at toy-making, including a corn-cob doll that inspired Dolly to write her first song at age 5: "Little Tiny Tassel Top."
  • Dolly also wrote the album track "Daddy's Working Boots" about her hard-working father.
  • Here's the lineup of the Parton family children:

    Willadeene (b. 1940)
    David (b. 1942)
    Denver (b. 1943)
    Dolly (b. 1946)
    Bobby (b. 1948)
    Stella (b. 1949)
    Cassie (b. 1951)
    Randy (b. 1953)
    Larry (1955-1955)
    Twins Freida and Floyd (b. 1957)
    Rachel (b. 1959)
  • In addition to releasing solo albums, Dolly was still recording with her friend and musical partner Porter Wagoner when she released My Tennessee Mountain Home in 1973. The following year, she ended the partnership (which resulted in the poignant ballad "I Will Always Love You") and issued the album Jolene.

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